Press Release

Result of the UNEP Forum on the Multi-stakeholder Platform (MSP) on Marine Litter and Microplastics

July 20, 2021

On July 13, 2021, the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, organized an online forum on the Multi-stakeholder Platform (MSP), with support from UNEP.

The forum had 440 participants representing various stakeholders including actors from the private sector. In the main session, presentations and panel discussions were held on 3 thematic areas:1. Multi-stakeholder engagement for global actions (chaired by the US), 2. Product design (chaired by the EU) and 3. Environmentally sound waste management (chaired by Japan). The discussions covered the entire life-cycle of plastics from upstream to downstream.

The Forum's meeting summary will be reported to UNEA 5.2 to be held on February 2022 as a part of activities of MSP and will be utilized for international discussions on measures against marine plastic litter and microplastics.

1. Background

UNEP has established the Multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) as the digital platform of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) in February 2021.The Ministry of the Environment, Japan, organized the MSP forum in order to promote the use of MSP and expand its scope with support from UNEP.

2. Event details

・Date: 13 July, 2021 12-4pm EAT

・Venue: Online

3. Participants

UNEP member states, UNEP Secretariat and its regional offices, private stakeholders, NGOs, International organizations and so on. (440 participants in total) 

4. Agenda

(1) Opening(Head of Marine and Freshwater at UNEP and the Minister of the Environment, Japan)

(2) Sharing progress

  1. Report from AHEG (Chair of AHEG)

  2. Stocktaking of activities and actions on the GPML Digital platform since its establishment (UNEP)

  3. Mapping of international/regional coordination and cooperation (UNEP)

  4. Launch of the IRP think piece on "Policy options to eliminate additional marine plastic litter by 2050 under the G20 Osaka Blue Ocean Vision" (International Resource Panel)

(3) Discussion on activities to be undertaken for combating marine litter and microplastics

  1. Multi-stakeholder engagement for global actions (chaired by the US)

  2. Product design (chaired by the EU)

  3. Environmentally sound waste management (chaired by Japan)

(4) Discussion on the way forward on MSP

  1. Further expectations

  2. Discussion items at the next forum

(5) Closing

5. Brief summary of the discussion


Shinjiro Koizumi, Minister of the Environment, Japan, gave a welcoming remark via video message, emphasizing the importance to accelerate actions against marine plastic litter at a global level. He also expressed Japan's firm commitment to support the establishment of an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) for a global instrument on marine plastic litter, and the importance of acquiring support and participation from diverse stakeholders on its establishment.

<Session 2>

The Chair of the 4th Ad Hoc Open Ended Expert Group (AHEG4) (Satoru Iino, Deputy Director, Office of Policies against Marine Plastics Pollution, Ministry of the Environment, Japan) reported on an overview of the discussions and outcomes of the AHEG. UNEP then gave an update of the GPML Digital Platform of which trial operations started in January 2021, and the International Resource Panel (IRP) presented the publication of a report on strategic scenario analysis to realize the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision.

<Session 3>

・Theme1: Multi-stakeholder engagement for global actions

Panelists from the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) and Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) discussed collaboration among different types of stakeholders. One panelist pointed out the need to consider what actors are relevant at each stage of the life-cycle. Another identified the key importance of an intergovernmental science panel.

・Theme 2: Product design

Panelists from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Plastics Europe, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), and Suntory Holdings, representing the Japan Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA) discussed the key factors for sustainable production and consumption at a global level. One panelist pointed out the necessity of flexibility on product design according to the local context, while another pointed out the need for development of definitions and metrics at a global level without fixing implementation details. In addition, the necessity of a global treaty for further coordination and collaboration as well as the importance of improving infrastructure especially in Asian countries were mentioned.

・Theme 3: Environmentally sound waste management

Panelists from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), UNEP-International Environmental Technology Centre (UNEP-IETC) and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) discussed important aspects to achieve a circular economy. One panelist pointed out the importance of designing waste management with the perspective of net environmental impacts. Another identified the importance of a large number of citizens to take actions and change their lifestyles.

<Session 4>

Participants exchanged ideas on expected functions and roles of the Multi-stakeholder Platform. Some participants shared their expectation on peer-learning and information sharing as a key aspect of this platform with the collaboration of G20 Implementation Framework, and some expressed the possibility of support from Ocean Plastics Leadership Network (OPLN). Participants also exchanged ideas on discussion items at the next forum. One participant proposed definitions of plastic and polymer types to be discussed next time.

6. Meeting materials (including the meeting summary)

Please refer to the UNEP website below.

Forum on the Multi-stakeholder Platform on Marine Litter and Microplastics

For Japanese

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